Militaries and Global Health: Peace, Conflict, and Disaster Response

In this article for The Lancet, KFF’s Joshua Michaud and Kellie Moss, and 11 co-authors examine the varied roles, responsibilities, and approaches of militaries in global health, drawing on examples and case studies across peacetime, conflict, and disaster response environments.

The article reviews the militaries’ capabilities to promote global health goals, including research, surveillance, medical expertise and the rapid, large-scale deployment for logistics, transportation, and security. It examines limitations, including the strategic, operational, and tactical objectives that support their security and defense missions but can conflict with humanitarian and global health objectives. The article also summarizes policies that can help close the gap between military and civilian actors and catalyze the contributions of all participants in order to enhance global health.

The article was published online on January 17, 2019, and is part of a special section on security and global health in The Lancet. To access the article at no charge, register for an online account at The Lancet.

In addition to KFF’s Joshua Michaud and Kellie Moss, the article’s other coauthors are Derek Licina of the U.S. Army/Regional Health Command-Pacific; Ron Waldman of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University; Adam Kamradt-Scott of University of Sydney; Maureen Bartee, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Matthew Lim of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center; Jamie Williamson of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Frederick Burkle of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health; Christina Polyak of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program/The Henry Jackson Foundation; Nick Thomson of Johns Hopkins University/University of Melbourne; David L. Heymann of Chatham House/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Louis Lillywhite of Chatham House.

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